The club have confirmed our first signing of the transfer window in the shape of 20 year old full back Kyle Walker. The Tottenham defender, who had been enjoying positive reviews at QPR of late will remain with us for six months on loan.
I have been somewhat disheartened by the reaction in some quarters to this move, the major hang-up for most fans is that we are giving Spurs a helping hand by blooding their player at the highest level. There is unfortunately a case to answer there for the club, because in the event he proves to be solid as a rock, Spurs will have him back or plant a big fat juicy transfer fee on his head. But this is not the point.
We have been leaking goals in a farcical fashion this season. So badly that we are all but the worst in the division. As fans we need to have a reality check and put to bed the notion that we can attract the stars of Europe to resolve our problems. Instead we must look in the short term and to players like Kyle Walker, who will be hungry, determined and the necessary gap fillers to deal with the problems at hand. Whilst there is no doubt we are in need of a striker, such a signing would be all but useless if we continue to concede in the manner we are of late.
In this respect I think that Houllier has conducted a shrewd bit of business. We have centre halves playing at full back, and for all of the defensive qualities of Carlos Cueller and Ciaran Clark in these positions, their distribution and overall comfort has been to our detriment. Indeed, this could allow for them to assume their actual positions within the line up, but I won’t be holding my breath. This however says very little for our array of squad players in this position, whom it can only be assumed have no future at the club.
And this signing does raise a few questions as a year ago we at Aston Villa had seemingly solved our long-standing issues as full back with steady professionals in the form of Warnock and Young. Throw in Beye and Lichaj as cover and all seemed rosy. No-one seems to know what’s going on with any of these players and in truth Warnock is the only one amongst them to have consistently featured in the squad. However the individual who should be most concerned would have to be Lichaj, supposedly our up and comer in this position who now finds himself behind Walker. That’s not Walker’s fault, but it tells us what the backroom staff think of Lichaj and indeed those ahead of him in the pecking order.
So welcome Kyle Walker who stands to potentially make his debut against his former club and that which he supports on Saturday (Sheffield United). Nobody should care if he’s Tottenham’s player, if he’s on loan or if he stands to further himself as a player with us. That kind of drive, determination to impress and desire to perform to the highest standard is exactly what we need.